What Tools Do You Have in Your Organizational Toolbox?

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One of the hardest things for any business owner is to get organized and stay on track. Here at iBloom, we have several tools and systems we use regularly to keep ourselves organized. Some of these tools are used as a team and others individually. All of them can be used if you are a business of one, part of a team or outsourcing parts of your business.

Pick and choose from the list below which tools work best for you and your business:

This is an AMAZING tool to use for projects and tasks. You can break down projects and take overwhelm out while putting details in. You can give each “To-Do” a due date and assign it to a specific person. There is a place to comment on specific “To-Do’s” and on the project as a whole, which makes communication with others seamless. The email reminders through the process are priceless!

  • Google Calendar

This is a shared calendar that the whole iBloom Team uses together. It includes our special events, webinars, promotions, Facebook Parties, etc. We also include our vacation schedules, so we’re not “out of the office” at the same time. Several Team members also use Google calendar to manage their individual schedules and appointments.

  • Ideal Schedule

Creating and following an Ideal Schedule is one of the biggest struggles for many of our clients. An Ideal Schedule is a way for YOU to tell your time where to go. You list out your priorities and the things that only YOU can do in the confines of your day and schedule them in a manageable way that works for you and your business.

This sounds easy, but we all know that life happens! Don’t be discouraged – it will take some tweaking, changing and living out your schedule to find one that works for you. And, remember to re-do your Ideal Schedule often. Summer breaks with your kids may require you to work at different times. Be flexible and creative as you find a schedule that allows you to live into your priorities while working your business.

I have a copy of my Ideal Schedule next to my computer, under my keyboard and hanging on the wall close to my office so my family can see it, too. I put it in a page protector so I can easily mark on it with a dry erase or a transparency marker when I need to make tweaks and changes.

For more information or products to help you create your Ideal Schedule, check out the Online Business Starter Kit, Inner Circle and Turn Your Goals Into Reality: A Step By Step Guide To Successfully Managing Your Time

  • Timers/Alarms

If you are anything like me, you can easily lose focus while working {writing this blog post has been a great example of this!}. That’s why I’m a fan of my kitchen timer and the alarms on my cell phone. If my Ideal Schedule says I have 1 hour and 30 minutes to work on a project, I set my kitchen timer for 1 hour and 30 minutes. It becomes a mind game for me; I want to beat the timer! Some projects are large and my “I Get To List” is overzealous, but when the timer goes off, I know my work time on that project is done until my next scheduled “project time”.

My alarm comes in to play by telling me what is next on my schedule without looking at my actual Ideal Schedule. You can change the labels to the alarm on the phone so it states exactly what you should be doing. There have been days I would have been late picking up my kiddos from school if my phone alarm hadn’t kept me on track!

I also use my cell phone alarm system so if I’m away from my computer I can still stay on track. We have clients who have this set up in their Google Calendar or iCal, so those are other options.

  • To-Do List
    I actually call it my “I Get To List”. I gleaned this term from the book Heavenly Birth by Denise Taylor} I’ve written an in-depth blog post on how I personally organize my list of to-do’s. You can read about it HERE

EverNote is one of my personal favorite tools to use. EverNote allows you to have a virtual notebook that can be accessed via cell phone, computer, laptop -PC or Mac version, tablets, iPads and private or public computers. But, it’s not just a single notebook – you can have as many notebooks as you want without taking up all that space on the bookshelf in your office! You are able to take notes, sync files, save webpages, share ideas with friends, set up reminders and SO much more. I have to say, my favorite function is the search feature. I try to keep my notes and notebooks organized in EverNote, but there are times that a note ends up in the wrong notebook. I simply search with a keyword and that note shows up!

I also use EverNote to organize my thoughts and ideas on future blog posts, keep track of my ever-growing list of passwords, track my one-on-one coaching clients and more. They do offer a paid version but I personally use the free version and this fits my needs.

If you are going to have clients set up appointments or coaching calls, this is a great way to have it be automated. You set up the times you are available on the TimeTrade website. When a client views your TimeTrade link, they see your availability and select a time that works best for their schedule. After your client has scheduled an appointment with you, they will receive and email with call in details and a reminder email. You will also receive an email that an appointment has been scheduled and a reminder email. You can also sync this with your Google Calendar, which keeps everything on track!

I have been an electronic planner girl for some time and thought I would struggle going back to a paper planner. It did take time to adjust, but now I would NEVER go back! This planner allows me to take my daily “I Get To’s”, and actually schedule them so they will happen. The planner has an easy and systematic process for making your goals a reality! This planner has a place to list my priorities, to create my vision board and keep our website/branding color-codes, font names, etc. It has an area to write what I am grateful for and who I will invest in that month. The iBloom Life and Business Planner truly helps me live a life I love!

If you have not experienced our iBloom Life & Business Planner, you can check out more about it HERE!

  • Private Facebook Group

These groups provide a safe place for you to quickly connect, ask questions, and interact with your clients and customers. A lot of our business is conducted in our Facebook Groups {we offer private groups that have a lot of interaction between our clients and our team} which makes it efficient and convenient. I highly recommend making it a “Secret Group”. This allows the group to have privacy from others and Facebook doesn’t encourage others to try and join your group.

As you can see, there are many tools and ways to get and stay organized in your personal and business life. What is your favorite organizational tool? Share it in the comments below. I would love to check it out!

 

 

Dawn Wilkerson

Dawn Wilkerson has a black belt in client care. She helps the iBloom Team and our customers not only get it together but also remember where we put it. From techie to tedious, whatever your crisis, Dawn specializes in the details and she will help you get it fixed (or find the person who can) so that YOU can get back to work.

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